Delaware Gov. John Carney was elected to serve as chair of the Southern Regional Education Board at the organization’s executive committee meeting held June 26.
Carney will lead the collaborative work of governors, legislators and state education leaders on SREB’s 80-member board to improve public education at every level, from early childhood through doctoral education.
“If we hope to seriously address the systemic issues around race and poverty in this country, we have to commit to the hard work of strengthening public schools for all children,” said Carney. “This has been a difficult and unusual several months, to be sure. But that doesn’t change the fundamental truth that all children deserve a world-class public education. All students can learn, and all of our children deserve an equal opportunity to succeed. It’s our responsibility to deliver on that promise.”
“As we continue to cope with the impacts of COVID-19 ─ and plan for the safe reopening of school buildings this fall ─ we will work with the Southern Regional Education Board to place a specific focus on issues of equity,” he said. “We will advocate for additional funding for broadband technology and new support for children living in poverty and students who are still learning English.”
“Investment in these areas will help us close the opportunity gap in public schools in Delaware and across the country and support the students and educators who need our help the most,” said Carney.
“Gov. Carney’s commitment to a quality education for every child ─ regardless of family income, race or ethnicity ─ will guide us well,” said SREB President Stephen L. Pruitt. “We are grateful for his leadership, especially as states recover from the coronavirus pandemic and its effects on education and the workforce.”
“Gov. John Carney’s approach has yielded tangible results for Delaware’s children and educators alike,” said state Sen. David Sokola, a member of the SREB executive committee. “Under his leadership, we have achieved our highest graduation rates in a decade, taken meaningful steps toward addressing our antiquated school funding system, and created a successful student loan forgiveness program for teachers.”
Additionally. Glen D. Johnson, chancellor of the Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education, was elected to continue as vice chair of the board.
A former state legislator and speaker of the Oklahoma House of Representatives, Johnson has been an active leader on the SREB board since 2010, including chairing the Commission on College Affordability in the South and co-chairing the current SREB Higher Education Recovery Task Force.
State Sen. Robert H. Plymale, of West Virginia, was elected to another term as treasurer. A member of the West Virginia legislature since 1993, he has been an SREB board member since 2003.